Imaging strategies in the management of oesophageal cancer: What's the role of MRI?

P.S.N. van Rossum, R. van Hillegersberg, F.M. Lever, I.M. Lips, A.L.H.M.W. van Lier, G.J. Meijer, M.S. van Leeuwen, M. van Vulpen, J.P. Ruurda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

52 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: To outline the current role and future potential of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in the management of oesophageal cancer regarding T-staging, N-staging, tumour delineation for radiotherapy (RT) and treatment response assessment. Methods: PubMed, Embase and the Cochrane library were searched identifying all articles related to the use of MRI in oesophageal cancer. Data regarding the value of MRI in the areas of interest were extracted in order to calculate sensitivity, specificity, predictive values and accuracy for group-related outcome measures. Results: Although historically poor, recent improvements in MRI protocols and techniques have resulted in better imaging quality and the valuable addition of functional information. In recent studies, similar or even better results have been achieved using optimised MRI compared with other imaging strategies for T- and N-staging. No studies clearly report on the role of MRI in oesophageal tumour delineation and real-time guidance for RT so far. Recent pilot studies showed that functional MRI might be capable of predicting pathological response to treatment and patient prognosis. Conclusions: In the near future MRI has the potential to bring improvement in staging, tumour delineation and real-time guidance for RT and assessment of treatment response, thereby complementing the limitations of currently used imaging strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1753-1765
Number of pages13
JournalEuropean Radiology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2013


  • Diagnostic Imaging
  • Esophageal Neoplasms
  • Humans
  • Lymphatic Metastasis
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Prognosis
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Treatment Outcome


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